Proof-Reading, Short Stories, Review

October 21st, 2010

Back in the UK, and now in the final phase of work on The Heroes – proof-reading.  This is when you check through the finished pages, fully typeset as they will appear in the finished hardcover.  Generally any changes are at the spelling or setting level, though it is surprising how often you’ll come upon apparently obvious writing mistakes, such as using the word ‘down’ twice within the space of about six words.  Strange, how you (and for that matter editor and copy editor) miss some of these in the fifteen million other passes you’ve made through the manuscript, and suddenly notice them now.  Perhaps something about the different setting, the way the words appear on the page…

I’m also in the midst of writing a short story, a kind of introduction to The Heroes taking place shortly before the start of the book.  Not essential to the story, by any means, but we’re planning to give bound copies away at signings and events as an encouragement to folks to turn up in the actual flesh, then later perhaps use it in various other cunning promotional ways.  More news in due course.

I also note a second review of The Heroes has surfaced, this time from James at Speculative Horizons:

“Though the novel starts slowly, the momentum gradually builds into something unstoppable. There’s satisfying character development, exploration of the ironies of war, and of course plenty of blood and treachery, all delivered with Abercrombie’s trademark wry humour.”

It’s a review that starts slowly, but the momentum gradually builds into something unstoppable…

Posted in process, reviews by Joe Abercrombie on October 21st, 2010.

27 comments so far

  • Brett says:

    Getting closer and closer now!
    I actualy purchased an other copy of “The Blade Itself” the other day just so I have all of my book’s in the parchent cover’s, so that when the Heroes does finaly arrive on my doorstep I can have a lovely Mr Abercrombie section on my bookshelf.

  • Eddwigg says:

    Ooooh maps at the start of each chapter, sexy. Personally I loved the characters from Best Served Cold, such a refreshing change from the poncy heroes we have been putting up with for so many years ( Thankfully we had Gemmell in the 80`s & 90`s ). Anyway I expect James likes his characters to eat porridge and cast amazing magical spells that never quite seem to save the world, that`s always left to the guy with the magic sword at the end who tends to stab the baddie, but in a nice way…
    Opps sorry Joe seem to be rambling now, hmm, time for a nice bowl of porrige I think Muhahahah…..

  • Tom says:

    It must feel pretty good that reviewers have trademarked your talents and make comments like “all delivered with Abercrombie’s trademark wry humour.”
    Unless you nervously start every writing session watching comedy just to pick up a few gags… Hopefully you won’t just to keep us entertained. I guess we’ll notice the subtle change if you turn into Terry Pratchett’s long lost nephew …

    Me looking forward to Heroes? You bet’cha!

  • Chris Bissette says:

    I’ll be wanting one of those short stories. Fingers crossed you come to Manchester again and bring some with you. Either that or I’ll be trekking somewhere.

    A Mr Abercrombie section does look pretty good. It’s just a shame my copy of LAoK is the oversized edition not the smaller paperback. I’ll have to get onto sorting that.

  • Murray says:

    If you need a hand proof reading feel free to send me a copy and I’ll take a look 🙂

  • Steve Aryan says:

    The short story sounds very intriguing and a great extra for those who attend. Is it too early to say, or do you roughy know where you’ll be signing and attending events around the country?

  • JT says:

    I like the idea for the short story, but it kind of sucks for those of us who can’t meet up at the signing events. Could you consider posting it at this site or something for those of us in countries you won’t visit?

    If not you better get your ass to Norway for a signing before I send an Uruk-hai hitsquad south to Bath:)

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    If only I could trademark it. Alas, other people can still be wryly humorous without fear of litigation.

    Too early right now. Soon as I know where we’ll be going, I’ll post.

    I daresay it will make its way into the public domain at some point…

  • SwindonNick says:

    I’m confident you will make the long and challenging journey to Waterstones Bath so will hope to see you there.
    Last time I made the wife come with me for “a nice day out in Bath” and then parked her in that kitchen shop on the corner by Waterstones so I could pop in and allow you to meet me and sign a book!
    The silly cow bought a giant pot of some kind, cost me a fortune and I had to lug it around Bath. Next time I’m parking her in a coffee shop…….

  • Steve Hick says:

    Darn, hope you publish short story somewhere where we who are unlikely to be signings and events might use.

    Actually a nice use for a shorter piece (likely not this short) is talk to the nice folks over at Subterranean…..

    And if you have any proof copies just lying around….


  • Nick Sharps says:

    Seems like a pretty fair review. I sort of agreed with what he said about Best Served Cold although I did like Shivers even if I didn’t like who he turned into by the end. Then again that’s the point of the novel right? If you do anything right its that nobody comes out of these events unaffected. Can’t wait for The Heroes. Still trying to figure out how much money I spent on the hardcover though…

  • Jon says:

    It always shocks me when I read that “There was no one to root for” complaint. I just don’t find that nessecary in my reading. I like both sides, sometimes: Heroes. Sometimes: Villians. I mean, come on, it was a revenge book, what did they expect? Especially after the beginning? A situation like that, the reader should stop and say to themselves: “Oh, so it’s gonna be that type of a party, huh?” and then you either stay or you go. WTF? It’s like going to a kegger and complaining that there was too much drinking.

  • Ferro's Big Toe says:

    I liked Best Served Cold but it doesn’t have that re-readability that the Trilogy had.

    That booklet will be on Amazon soon enough going for ridiculously inflated prices

  • Yay! Looking forward to the short story!

    @Ferro’sBigToe: Best Served doesn’t have that re-readability? I keep re-reading just for Nicomo Cosca’s dialogue. Some of the best dialogue put to paper! Quiet now, you are upsetting my goat!

  • Ferro's Big Toe says:

    It doesn’t have it for me others may feel differently.

  • Sedulo says:

    Does “The Heroes” really start slowly? That’s quite a change up. I’m used to lots of gravity at the beginning of your tales. Did you go for a different definition of gravity? Perhaps people just roll down softly sloping hills?

  • Dan says:

    I for one don’t care if it starts slow or not. And I will judge that when I read it. I’m so into this world Joe has created for us, that I’m going to savor each word and character. Slow and plodding, or fast and bloody. I just wish the book was about 1500 pages long!

  • Jon says:

    Nicomo Cosca owns Best Served Cold. He’s the best character in that book. Loved him.

  • brett says:

    ‘A drink,a drink!’ No Brett, 8 pints is enough, off to bed with you! Couldn’t agree more, Cosca was a brilliant character. He made up for the lack of Marster Ninefingers in BSC. Lets hope we discover his fate in the Heroes. Logen’s that is if you’re reading this Joe!

  • norbert says:

    mr abercrombie , why ” uthman al-dust ” for the emperor name ?
    reference to the first sultan of ottoman empire ?

  • J.M. Martin says:

    I’m with Eddwigg for sure on the Gemmell comment. Joe, you’re the bearer of Gemmell’s legacy as far as I’m concerned, while also carving your own distinct slab out of the genre.

    As far as BEST SERVED COLD’S re-readability, I’d say Ferro’s Big Toe is well in the minority. I’ve read it twice, mainly for Cosca, of course, but also to study Shiver’s ruination. An underappreciated character in the book: Friendly. He’s awesome.

    Best line in BSC? Shivers to Friendly: “You counting fuck!”

  • Andrew says:

    Friendly was genius! One of my favorite characters.

    I’ve already got my UK copy on pre-order to be shipped to the US. I just hope the store gets some of those short stories and I can get one too.

  • ogbebaba says:

    J.M. Martin, Andrew, Jon, brett I agree completely

    Friendly’s time at the craps table had me laughing so hard I got tears in my eyes and Cosca is always entertaining.

    I hope we get to see more of them both…

  • Yulwei says:

    I’ve a question. I’m planning on purchasing a Kindle [an e-reader] by Christmas so I was wondering if the e-book version of the Heroes would come out significantly later than the hardback

  • ColinJ says:

    That guy really has a problems with BEST SERVED COLD.

    That books is fucking brilliant. I love every word of it and the ending is the best kind of ambiguous “Oh, fuck! What now…?” ending I have ever read.

    Anyone who doesn’t love that book is a big poo-head.

  • George says:

    I remember Black Dow was randomly called Black Daw during the siege in LAOK.

  • J D'Whelan says:

    Trust. Only Joe Abercrombie can mananage to successfully criticize the criticizm of the critic criticizing his book with some of that ‘wry’ humour that he wants so badly to trademark.

    Though the review of the review starts slowly…… Hah! I win!!

    Cannot wait for the release of The Heroes.

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